The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is Chase’s highest-earning Southwest co-brand card. This card gives Rapid Rewards members a second business card option alongside the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. But, are the perks worth the $199 annual fee? Let’s take a look.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Annual Fee$199
Welcome BonusEarn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

The Southwest Performance Business Card is currently offering a bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. If you can earn this significant bounty of points, you’ll be well on your way to earning the coveted Southwest Companion Pass!

Beyond the sign-up bonus, we think this card is a long-term keeper for many business owners thanks to some great ongoing benefits. Card highlights include:

  • 9,000 anniversary points each year (worth around $123)
  • 4X points on Southwest Airlines® purchases (improved from 3x October 2021)
  • 3X points on Southwest and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases (new October 2021)
  • 2X points on social media and search engine advertising; internet, cable, and phone services
  • 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare (improved from 1x October 2021)
  • Four upgraded boardings per year
  • Global Entry / TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Virtually unlimited complimentary inflight Wi-Fi credits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No extra fees for employee cards

Here’s the link to apply for the Southwest Performance Business Card, or read on for our full review.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card Review

This card is the first Southwest co-brand product to feature such a rewarding earning structure. Plus, cardholders can now earn uncapped tier-qualifying points towards A-list status. The card sports an annual fee of $199.

Southwest Performance Business Card Application Restrictions

Unlike the Southwest Priority Card, Chase doesn’t have any complex application restrictions to the Southwest Performance Business Card.

While Chase’s 5/24 policy applies, the only other restriction is that you can’t already be a cardholder of ‘this’ Southwest business credit card (nor can you have received a welcome bonus on ‘this’ card in the past 24 months). There is nothing to say you can’t apply for this card if you hold other business or personal Southwest cards, including the Southwest Premier Business Card.

Southwest Performance Business Card Welcome Bonus

Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. As a revenue-based rewards program, the value of Rapid Rewards points is tied directly to the price of airfare, which typically works out to between 1.3 and 1.5¢ per point. That gives the signup bonus a value of up to $1,200 towards flights.

Points Earning Potential & Bonus Categories

The Southwest Performance Business Card was the first Southwest card to earn more than 2X points on Southwest purchases. Chase improved earning rates across the board on Southwest personal and business cards in October 2021, and the Southwest Performance Business Card now earns:

  • 4X points on Southwest Airlines® purchases (improved from 3x October 2021)
  • 3X points on Southwest and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases (new October 2021)
  • 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services
  • 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare (improved from 1x October 2021)
  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Outside of earning 4X on Southwest purchases, this improved earning structure doesn’t change the fact that the best way to earn Rapid Rewards points on most business purchases is with Ultimate Rewards earning cards (with one important exception noted below). Since Southwest is a 1:1 Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, you can earn the equivalent of:

  • 3x Rapid Rewards points on all travel and airfare purchases with the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (on up to $150K per year in combined purchases with other categories)
  • 5x points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services each account anniversary year using the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
  • 1.5X on non-bonus expenses using the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card.

But here is the big exception: If you transfer Ultimate Rewards to Southwest, they won’t count towards the Companion Pass. Points earned with spending on the Southwest Performance Business Card will count towards the Companion Pass requirement of 125,000 points earned in a calendar year. If buy-one-get-one-free Southwest flights are your goal, this card’s higher earning rates could be a game-changer.

If you already have the Companion Pass (or don’t often fly with a companion) you’re better off with the Ink Preferred or Ink Unlimited. If you need Southwest points, Rapid Rewards is an instant transfer partner. And you still have the flexibility to move your points to 10 other airline programs.

Southwest Performance Business Card Feature Benefits

Alongside the higher rewards earning structure, the Southwest Performance Business Card is packed with perks that should make it worth holding onto for the long term if you or your employees regularly fly Southwest.

The annual fee on the business card is comparatively higher than that of the Southwest Premier Business Card. So, it’s essential to run the numbers before you put in an application to ensure you get the card that provides the most value.

9,000 Anniversary Rapid Rewards Points Each Year

You’ll receive 9,000 Rapid Rewards points each year on your account anniversary with the Southwest Performance Business Card. For comparison, you get 7,500 with the Southwest Priority Card ($149 annual fee) and 6,000 with the Southwest Premier Business Card ($99 annual fee).

Rapid Rewards points are generally worth between 1.3 and 1.5 cents each for Southwest flights. That means the annual points dividend will get you between $117 and $135 worth of flights, leaving roughly $80 in annual fees that need to be recovered using the other card benefits.

Four Complimentary Upgraded Boardings Per Year

A benefit first offered on the Southwest Priority Card and now carried over to the Southwest Performance Business Card, cardholders will be reimbursed for up to four Upgraded Boardings each year.

Upgraded Boardings guarantee you a boarding position between A1 through A15. Upgraded Boardings must be purchased at the ticket counter or departure gate on the day of departure and are subject to availability. Each Upgraded Boarding costs between $30 and $50, depending on your itinerary.

Upgraded Boardings differ from EarlyBird Check-In — which will get you access to a higher boarding position by checking you in just before the window of opportunity opens up for other passengers. There are two benefits of Upgraded Boardings:

  • Upgraded Boardings are valid for positions A1 to A15, which puts you ahead of the EarlyBird Check-In folks.
  • Unlike EarlyBird Check-In, you don’t need to remember to take action more than 24 hours before your flight.

Complimentary Wi-Fi On Every Southwest Flight

Southwest charges $8 per device for Wi-Fi access. With the Southwest Performance Business Card, you get an $8 credit up to 365 times per year.

Although most folks aren’t flying every day, the fact that you can add authorized users to your account without paying an additional fee means that you can extend this benefit to employees and get even more value. To use this benefit, simply use your card to pay for Wi-Fi onboard.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Credit

Almost a standard perk on premium airline cards now, cardholders can get a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit up to the value of $100 ($85 for TSA PreCheck) every four years. The value of this perk is often dictated by whether you have other cards that offer the same benefit. Something to keep in mind is that even if you already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you can use your credit to gift it to a friend or family member.

Other Perks

In addition to the benefits listed above, the card doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, a nice bonus if you use it overseas.

Cardholders also receive 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQP) for every $10,000 spent on the card, with no cap on the total TQPs you can earn. TQPs count toward qualification for A-List and A-List Preferred status with Rapid Rewards. TQPs are calculated annually rather than by account year. So, if you acquire the card mid-year, your TQP will be calculated up until your December statement before the count resets for the new year.

Points Count Towards the Southwest Companion Pass

It’s worth reiterating that both the welcome bonus and points earned from everyday spending count towards the Southwest Companion Pass. The current offer of 80,000 bonus points puts one of the most coveted benefits in domestic travel within reach for business owners that can charge lots of expenses to a rewards card.

If earning a Companion Pass through the end of 2023 with the Southwest Performance Business Card isn’t achievable, check out the lineup of Southwest consumer cards. All three come with welcome offers that can give you an additional chunk of Rapid Rewards points that count towards this awesome perk. The gem of the group is the Southwest Priority Card, which should easily pay for itself if you fly a few times a year with Southwest.

You can learn more by checking out our guide to earning the Companion Pass.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Annual Fee$149
Welcome BonusEarn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Final Thoughts

Southwest and Chase offer a wide range of cards as part of the co-brand card partnership for the Rapid Rewards program. These cards offer plenty of ways to earn points without flying bum-in-seat miles. The perks offered on this card are an evolution of benefits offered on the Southwest Priority Card, adding tangible value for Rapid Rewards members. And the 80,000-point welcome bonus is a fantastic way to increase the balance of your Southwest account.

 

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